Another new beginning

24 01 2015

I am sitting in my childhood bedroom, wrapping my head around what is coming next. The walls are no longer pink and the many faces of Leonardo Di Caprio no longer stare at me. I’ve been a huge fan of his since Baz Luhrmann’s Rome and Juliet, after which my bedroom had his face on every wall. My books are still here, but the old dark red couch was thrown away long ago, a new smaller version taking its place. It almost does not feel like my room anymore. But I digress!

I am super excited and of course also worried. I am leaving a job I truly love behind to move once again to India, this time in Mumbai, for ~11 months. Last time I was in India, while I was walking towards my plane, I made a big cross sign and told myself I will never come back again. I really did! Sometimes I am a believer.

India was hard on me the first time around, although it gave back a lot. What was really bad? Dengue fever. What was really good? A bunch of really wonderful people I am still in touch with and I can’t wait to see again, plus a series of professional skills I built my career on. You could say I could get those anywhere, but the truth of a matter is I feel I had my real start in India, learning from the best and understanding what I really like doing… and its more than communications 🙂 #clubempower

So here I am, waiting for my visa to be ready, looking for a place to stay in Mumbai, reading for the 5th time the website of the organization I will be working with, thinking about communications strategies, child protection policies and another new beginning. When I saw the JD, it was love at first sight. I applied right away and after I accepted their offer, I spent 3 months having doubts, wondering if I am doing the right thing. Those doubts were completely wiped out last week in Klosters, when me and my fellow fellows met for a 5 days preparation program.

Europe is safe, its cozy, I feel very appreciated in my current job, I am surrounded by friends. But asking myself every day if “is this it?” for me signaled a problem. Coming from AIESEC, I do ask myself constantly if I am leaving up to my full potential. Most of the time the answer is NO. While I don’t really care about job titles and money, I do care about being the best version of myself I can be. And lately I did not feel as if I was. First world problem indeed.

So here I am ready for a new journey, a new challenge. Ready to embrace the unknown, work hard, learn new things, give back, embrace chaos, live each day to the fullest. A new adventure.

And until I am leaving, had to move my date from the 31st of Jan to 11th because of visa issues, I am ready to learn a different kind of skills 🙂 My mum will teach me how to cook. Today she and my dad made bread. He prepared the dough, because he has stronger and bigger hands, and she added cheese and olives to the mix, and “popped” them in the oven. The result is below 🙂 Later today we will be making “sărăţele” and “cornuleţe”. I will get my hands “dirty” and feel worthy to eat the result at the end…

Cheers to new beginnings!

#Homemade #bread

Homemade bread with olives and cheese

Smells like “home-home”

12 06 2013

I considered all the places I lived in for more than 3 months as “home”.  Not like “home-home” but like that place I was ready to invest money, feelings and curiosity in, so I guess Ghana, India and Belgium all felt like home at some point in time.

I am now on my way to the home I share with Rach in Brussels. I am in the train and it smells like “home-home”. I haven’t been in Iaşi since September last year and suddenly I miss my mum’s chicken with baked bell peppers dish. Someone is eating in the train and it smells exactly the same. I am suddenly homesick and it feels weird as I didn’t experience it in a while.

I take the train daily and it can be quite an experience, especially today when I forgot my music at home and I am forced to listen Arabic tunes that I am not at all fond of, plus the sound of someone texting. I dislike people that don’t remove their key sound and text restlessly for more than 20 minutes. As I am ready to move to another wagon, he/she stops. And to be honest, I don’t want to leave my seat because the wagon smells like “home-home” and I miss watching my mom doing wonders in her huge kitchen. As I write this, the word kitchen makes me smile. Just yesterday we talked and I told her that I want to buy a studio for myself in my home-town. She immediately said that I must have a big kitchen. Kind of hard to accomplish that with a studio… While I still don’t want to get married or have children, I find myself more often than not wanting to own a place of my own. More than a studio, it will be a place to come back to, a refuge for when I get tired and I need a break from my life as an immigrant, globetrotter or global citizen, however you want to call me. I think I prefer “global citizen” best!

Going back to food, today I signed up for a gastronomy class on Coursera. I am very excited about it although I am not sure how I will fit it in my schedule. I am taking everything one month at a time. Working full time, doing my masters, volunteering and all my other activities are lately taking a toll on me, as lovely as they are. I haven’t written something I consider relevant since the Internal Combustion writing workshop on May 12 and I am not 100% happy with that story either. Plus I did not finish Anna’s story. It’s like it does not want to be written or maybe I am just looking for an excuse!

I am happy to say that my French is getting better. I wish I would have listened to “Madamme” Dolcu in high school when she was saying “Chick, you need to study.” Awesome awesome woman! But it was high school and I hated French and school in general. My wake-up call came later and here I am, every morning for 45 minutes, in the train to Antwerp, reading in French, learning vocabulary and trying to figure out how much progress I have made. But now I love French. Maybe I will find some time for Dutch too but not this year!

2013 is my best year so far. That is, if I stick to my schedule. The schedule that right now does not have a visit to me “home-home” in it. I mean to change that but I also want to fit in Cuba or Peru and honestly, that might prove to be cheaper! Travelling home to Iaşi feels like travelling to Asia, but with more stops, means of transportation and hours. I guess with more money spent too 😛

I have two exams in June. Both important, both difficult and time consuming! At the end of the day it feels good. Never thought that Global Information Management would prove to be so interesting! Or that 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night will feel restful and enough. But it works and after I will finish with everything this year, I am going “home-home” to have chicken with baked bell peppers in my mum’s kitchen and sleep. And maybe, before I turn 30 next year, I will stop feeling like all this effort is for nothing. And hopefully I will have my studio somewhere in Podu Ros, and maybe by then my home-town will be again the “city of linden trees” and the place to always go back to with joy! Because today, more than ever, it became clear to me that I will never go back for good. I am after all an immigrant, a globetrotter, a global citizen!

And by the way, exactly 4 years ago I started this blog. This is my 127th post. In June 2009 I was getting ready to go to Ghana for my life changing experience 😀 I know that for the past 2 years I was barely here but more stories now feel like they should be shared less… 🙂

somewhere in Brussels

somewhere in Brussels

Is this the end?

18 03 2011

maybe I should just wear sunscreen!

I am looking back with a somehow sense of pride. I really did things that not many people do. I took my life by the horns and I lived. I had ups and downs, I dreamed and had dreams killed… and I always hoped for the best…

I am 26 and I struggle all the time with the feeling that I haven’t accomplished enough for my age. I don’t have financial security and this is the main thing that is eating me alive. Just like everybody else… or almost everybody else, I want my own crib, a place where I can invest money and creativity and have it for more than 6 months or one year. I want to stop fitting my life in a 23 kg suitcase. I want more… I want security for a change.

In 2009, after spending 3 years and a half in the largest youth organization in the world having various roles, I decided to pursue an international career in communication. And what a ride has been since then… 2 countries, 2 continents so very different than anything I have ever experienced before. Looking back I can only feel love and excitement for Ghana, West Africa and respect for all the wonderful people that have influenced my career in India, Asia. They say that life is a journey, not a destination… mine was the coolest journey a young woman could have… with the good and the bad, with the emotion, with the hope and the fear… with everything that implies being utterly alone at the end of the day, facing who you are and what you want to become.

Is this the end? Has the time come for me to make up my mind, to grow up, make a decision and live with it? It’s never easy, is it? It’s not supposed to be… but sometimes I just wish I had it easier… more money for my studies, smarter decisions at the right time, loved ones in the worst moments. I want more days of feeling the luckiest person in the world… I want more days with interesting projects and creativity… I want more days with a full salary in my bank account… more days with my friends… I want more days of feeling carefree…

I am scared to come back to Romania and look for a job. I am scared I won’t find one… one that won’t feel like a job but like a blessing. I am scared I won’t feel the same enthusiasm I feel for my job here. I am scared the pessimism Romania is going through right now as a country is going to touch me and stain me forever. I am scared I won’t be able to adapt. I am scared of being one of the young people that has the responsibility to build a new Romania.

I am so tempted to postpone it, make another 23kg suitcase and fly to greener pastures. I don’t want to look back and see myself as another young woman that gave up on Romania and decided to be selfish and make a place for herself in another, better world. I don’t want to be that person that gave up on the country that helped her be the person she is today.

In the same time I don’t want my life to always be a struggle. I am looking at what my parents go to every day, at the amount of work they put in for the smallest benefits. I have never dared to ask them “Are you really happy?”; “Is your life how you dreamed it to be when you were 26?”; “Are you happy, not content, with the decisions you made?” I am scared of the answer. What if they aren’t?

I am looking at my friends that live in Romania, fight for it, and create opportunities for their fellow Romanians. I am looking at them and at their accomplishments and I feel so proud. I am sure it’s not easy for them although from the distance it may seem so. They make me feel optimistic because at the end of the day my country still has heroes. They are my age and they are fighters. They didn’t turn their back on their country and they believe in it…

Cheers to them, to the Romanians that make it happen for Romania! To the ones that believe it’s possible. I hope I will be one of you some day. I hope I will live not the feel the shame of a deserter but the pride of the one that fought for and believed in a better Romania.

At this point of time I don’t know… I remember one question that haunted me during my AIESEC experience. One of our partners, a former AIESEC member, asked us how many of us are or will be truly leaders… I don’t know… I don’t even know if I should hope to be one…

It’s good to be home!

25 01 2011

a wonderful mess 🙂




The year of 25 – may be the most beautiful year of my life so far :D

10 10 2010

My life wouldn't be the same without you beatiful people in it!

I started my year in Ghana, stopped by in Austria, Romania and Serbia and I finished it in India 🙂 For a person that really loves to travel, things couldn’t have been better. I have the love and support of my family and friends, I am working in the area I love the most, I am challenged on a daily basis. I love and I feel loved. I feel blessed 🙂 And no matter how hard things get sometimes, I know that at the end of the day I am where I always wanted to be!

Last year I was sharing with you 25 random things about Alexandra 😀 This year I will share with you the highlights of the most beautiful year of my life so far 🙂

October 2009 – I was finding myself in Ghana, surrounded by amazing people, celebrating my 25th B-Day in Champs, with cake and tequila shots 🙂

The highlights of that month: We watched some really amazing Ghanaian supporters in Champs, while Ghana was winning the U20 World cup, we visited the Wli Waterfall, MMRS banned access to Facebook and other social websites… I was missing my family and friends a lot but I was slowly slowly falling in love with this amazing country named Ghana. That was maybe the best October ever… and I guess I have a duty to make this one even better 🙂

November 2009It was the first time when I celebrated Thanksgiving 😀 William and Lydia prepared this amazing dinner with turkey and everything else and we gathered together feeling thankful to have so many amazing great people around. I also got malaria, for a second time 😛 The funny part is that I wasn’t your normal malaria patient, with all the symptoms, the fever and the bad dreams. I had that too but I also went partying at Sahil’s brother engagement celebration 😀 Yes, there is nothing ordinary in the way I approach sickness 😛 It either takes me partying  or to the hospital 😛

December 2009 – I was getting ready to return home and I was so homesick 🙂 Also, for the first time in my life, thanks to Clement and MMRS I saw how a TVC shoot is going on. It was so much fun 🙂 Darling Lucia took William, Sahil and I to a school where she took pictures with the kids. She is an amazing photographer 🙂 On my way home I stopped for a few days visiting Moru in Vienna. I was eating “Sahne” with the big spoon, milk products being one of the things I missed the most in Ghana when it came too food 😛

January 2010 – I was homesick for the home I made in Ghana. Yes, a very big contradiction but after a few wonderful days at home I started feeling restless. At the end of January I went with Andreea in Belgrade, at a YiA conference. I totally loved it and I will definitely go there again 🙂

February 2010 – I started writing again and my Dad cut off my apple tree 😦 Staying home for long periods of time was never my thing 😛

March 2010 – Got matched with Alcatel-Lucent India. It was such a chaotic month for me, trying to get all my paper together, apply for my visa and get the hell out of the country 😛 I thought I knew where I was going but once again in my life I was wrong 😀

April 2010 – Oh India… my first month here was very full of learning and new things… And I was so scared… Most of the time I stupidly worry for nothing and this time was no exception. Every new day felt like an adventure. My arrival, nobody waiting for me… When it comes to intern reception I agree with what everybody says. AIESEC India is really really bad at it! I saw Taj Mahal, another dream coming true… and FRO… this wasn’t a dream coming true, more like a nightmare, but still I was pretty lucky 🙂 Overall, it was a good month… even if I was blind and almost fainted in a bus, going to Delhi 😛

May 2010 – Almost got molested in an auto rickshaw, had to break the guy’s lip in the process. I think that is the most humiliating thing that happened to me in India so far. Actually not, but I won’t go there! I also discovered the Delhi party scene and I understood that it’s not my cup of coffee. The less I participate in, the better for my happy self! The best thing about May was Etelka :*

June 2010 – Learned a bit about how Indian prejudice works… it can get pretty nasty at times! Also suffering through the heat was just terrible. But I am alive, so no sense going there again 🙂 Alex moved in and talking in Romanian with him was like music to my ears 😛

July 2010 – July was hardcore. I was fighting homesickness daily and small small things were just making me lose my patience entirely. All the factors combined, it was a bad month. Except of IDOC 2010! That was a very beautiful day 🙂

August 2010 – We had Ivette with us and it was amazing 🙂 Dasha left on her South Asia Trip. She is coming back tonight :D, just like a perfect B-Day present 🙂 I also discovered that not paying attention costs money or time in the real world. So although I hoped I will never see FRO again, one moment of randomness will take me back there in January 2011. I need to extend my visa with one day because I didn’t realized my resident permit expires on 30 of March 2011 and I got my ticked for 31st. Yes, this is me in my purest form… Meanwhile I learned to pay attention to details! Pam Pam

September 2010 – Another hardcore month. Got  sick and survived 😛 I decided to see it as a opportunity to learn about the private medical system in India 🙂 The month ended with Cosi and Cristi visiting me and India 🙂 I was very happy to have them here 🙂 Goa was sort of a disappointment but Jaipur was really great 🙂 And than Olga left 😦 Comeee back!!! 😛

So yes, this is it! I guess one year’s experience can perfectly fit in 2 pages 🙂

Thank you all for making my 25th year truly amazing 🙂 I promise I will make the 26th one extraordinary!

With Love,

Alexandra, Alexa, Alex

They call it re-integration!

8 01 2010

I knew by the end of my internship that I will miss Ghana. I never told myself that it’s not going to happen. With good and bad it was the best experience of my life so far. But I also believe that I will enjoy being home a lot more! I guess I am restless… it’s just the way I am!

It’s been good so far. Staying home, seeing some of my friends, which I missed so much, and reconnecting with my family. Not waking up at 5:45 am every morning 😛

The truly annoying part started when I had to face the Romanian bureaucracy. But it’s my fault. I actually had the nerve to go to my former University to ask for my bachelor diploma on 4th of January. Exactly the first day after the holiday! It seems to me that I am a very bad person. The secretary from my former college was very nice. She told me where to go and what I need in order to get my diploma. Fast and simple! But getting that piece of paper was a lot more complicated… Because some people are still in their holiday although officially they are working!

Ok, so it’s 5th of January now. I can totally understand. Right after New Year’s Eve… 5 days after but still… But I finished my studies 1,5 years ago. June 2008… Why does it take 1,5 years to get a piece of paper?

Well I am on my way to Bucharest now. Without my diploma… I didn’t have time to wait for everybody to finish their holiday. I do hope my MA Program won’t require it. Because it might just take a while for the University to release it! I mean there are holidays, long weekends, and personal problems and so on. Putting your signature on a document is a difficult thing to do. It can take years and years and years….!!! Maybe I should go in July 2011. I mean why not? They need time. Evolution is a difficult process. An annoying person requiring diplomas and stuff can block it entirely!

From this point of view it steel feels like I am in Ghana. But I would rather have some heat and fresh mango fruits instead of bureaucracy!

Me remembering how it’s like to be in Romania! And enjoying 🙂 With good and bad!

PS: I wrote this on Tuesday, being kind of annoyed. Meantime I calmed down, although I don’t have my diploma yet 🙂

On Sunday I will speak in Romanian for more than 10 minutes :)

17 07 2009

Hello world, Hello AIESEC, Hello my dear friends 🙂

I miss many things right now, although I am excited and I feel very much ALIVE.

I miss my girls (they celebrated Cosmina‘s birthday yesterday).  I miss my MC Team (Alex posted some pictures on facebook and suddenly I felt like I want to be there with them).  I miss my family (my mother’s birthday is next week). I miss Iasi, my hometown (today there are 34 degrees Celsius compared with 26 in Accra)….

My life in Ghana is really exciting but a friend of mine told me that maybe somehow I am trying to create my own Romania here in Accra…  I don’t know if it’s true….

The fact that on Sunday I will spend some time meeting Liviu, the Romanian guy that lives in Ghana for about 2 years, will probably make me feel more at home, than I already do… So I will speak in Romanian on Sunday, with a Romanian 🙂 I will drink a glass of wine and I will celebrate the fact that the world is small 🙂 I will create a small Romania in Accra and I will enjoy every moment…

Me happy 😀

PS: Today in the morning I walked to work listening Coldplay and The Killers… what can be better than that?

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